US DoE to fund coal-based 3D printing supplies analysis, Recreus launches new Air purifier filament vary

A 3D printed flower pot with Filaflex Purifier.  Photo via Recreus.

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The climate crisis is getting closer and the 3D printing industry, like many others, is increasingly promoting sustainability initiatives to reduce both our carbon footprint and our use of synthetic polymers.

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) recently announced nearly $ 7 million in funding to support seven projects that focus on developing waste carbon-based materials for additive manufacturing and focus on research into carbon-derived graphite materials. Ultimately, by making better use of coal waste, the project aims to accelerate the country’s goal of switching to 100% renewable green energy by 2035.

Elsewhere, 3D printing materials developer Recreus recently launched its new line of purifiers of filaments. The new line includes two new filaments, Filaflex Purifier and PLA Purifier, which can convert carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into harmless mineral particles.

A 3D printed flower pot with Filaflex Purifier. Photo via Recreus.

$ 7 million for seven projects

Under the supervision of the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL )’s Carbon Ore Processing Program, the seven sustainability projects aim to research and develop novel technologies to make better use of coal waste such as tailings and ash. The organizations involved will either develop new filaments for 3D printing or develop sustainable graphite-based materials for applications such as batteries and fuel cells.

The seven projects selected are as follows:

  • “Carbon-reinforced PEEK filament production for additive manufacturing in industrial services” – Baker Hughes Energiewende.
  • ‘Fused Deposition Modeling Additive Manufacturing of carbonized Structures via Waste-Enhanced Filaments’ – Ohio University.
  • ‘Carbon waste reinforced filaments for the additive manufacturing of high temperature plastics and ceramic composites’ – Semplastics.
  • “Laboratory Scale Manufacture of Carbon-Derived Graphene Particle Bound Filaments” – University of Delaware.
  • “Using Waste and Carbon Supply Chain By-Products to Produce Graphite for Energy Storage Applications” – Ohio University.
  • “Molded Graphite Products Synthesized From Coal Waste” – Touchstone Research Laboratory.
  • ‘Advanced Processing of Coal and Coal Waste to Produce Graphite for Fast Charge Lithium-Ion Battery Anode’ – University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center.

“Ohio is a leader in industrial energy efficiency,” said US Senator Sherrod Brown. “These federal funds will allow us to continue investing in cutting-edge energy technology to responsibly and sustainably create local jobs and improve our economy while developing the next generation of innovative technologies.”

Recreus’ Purifier Filament Assortment

The new Purifier range from Recreus works by integrating greenhouse gas mineralization particles into the filament itself. The “intelligent particles” cause CO2, NOx and VOCs to adhere to and pass through the surfaces of 3D printed parts made from Purifier filaments the processes of catalysis and photocatalysis are converted. The harmful gases and particles are converted into calcium carbonate (CaCO3), magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) and iron carbonate (FeCO3), which are harmless to humans and the environment.

PLA Purifier is based on Recreus PLA and is an easy-to-print filament designed for low-cost rigid parts. Filaflex Purifier, on the other hand, is an elastic TPE material based on the company’s Filaflex filament. Filaflex Purifier is designed for soft and flexible parts such as insoles, product packaging and wearable accessories and can be printed with the same construction parameters as Filaflex 82A.

Sustainability in 3D printing

In the past few years we’ve seen an influx of environmental sustainability efforts from the additive manufacturing space. Just last month, KIMYA, the 3D printing subsidiary of the French printing and coating company ARMOR, helped the local start-up CAPS ME to industrialize the 3D printing of a new environmentally friendly brand of reusable coffee capsules. To simplify the recycling of coffee pods, each CAPS ME container has a six-part, 3D-printed mechanism that automatically refills it after use.

Elsewhere, the research and development company GE Research, together with UC Berkeley and the University of South Alabama, recently received a US DOE project worth $ 2 million to develop a decarbonization system to effectively extract CO2 from the atmosphere. The $ 2 million project “AIR2CO2” will combine 3D-printed heat exchanger technology with innovative sorption materials.

3D printer maker Stratasys also recently committed to promoting circular economy, climate action and social change by establishing its Stratasys sustainability function.

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The picture shown shows a 3D printed flower pot with Filaflex Purifier. Photo via Recreus.

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